The United States does not want a nuclear deal with Iran for the time being
Im nuclear dispute with Iran Western states try to exert pressure without completely closing the door to negotiations.For the time being, the United States no longer intends to make further efforts to return to the 2015 Nuclear Accord (JCPOA), but to focus on a policy of sanctions and pressure. This was announced by the American special representative for Iran, Robert Malley, on Monday evening in Paris.
Negotiations in Vienna on reviving the JCPOA have been going on since 2021, and a document was on the table in August. However, Iran made the additional requirement that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) complete investigations.
These relate to past nuclear activities that Iran, contrary to its obligations, has kept secret. According to the IAEA at the time, Iran did not provide any technically credible answers in this matter. And in the most recent talks, according to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, Iran has put “nothing new at all” on the table.
No new attempt after congressional elections
Western countries do not want to conflate this issue with their efforts to compromise the JCPOA, so as not to undermine the authority of the IAEA. Discussions at the headquarters of the UN-affiliated organization in Vienna about a possible resolution in the IAEA Board of Governors now also refer to the investigations of the IAEA. Iran has announced that it will hold technical talks with the IAEA again in November. Critics see this as an attempt to buy time and avert a critical resolution. The latest IAEA report calls for “obtaining technically credible explanations from Iran on these issues at this meeting”. This must include “access to locations and material” as well as “reasonable opportunity to take samples”.
As for the separate JCPOA negotiations, there were expectations that Washington might try again after the congressional elections. But that will not happen, according to Malley: because of Tehran’s tough stance, but also because of the events since September. “Our focus is not on an agreement that doesn’t move forward, but on what’s happening in Iran,” Malley said, referring to the regime’s “brutal crackdown” on protests, but also on the sale of combat drones to Russia and the US Detention of three American nationals as “hostages”. It keeps the door open to negotiations in the event that Iran changes its behavior, but for now it is relying on “sanctions and pressure”. In fact, they have United States how the EU has introduced several additional sanctions since the beginning of the week.
The JCPOA has provided that Iran’s nuclear program significantly limited and strictly monitored by the IAEA. In return, sanctions should be dropped. However, the United States withdrew in 2018, and as a result Iran also repeatedly violated the agreement. According to the IAEA, Iran has now enriched more than 62 kilograms of uranium to 60 percent. With just one small step further, it would have enough weapons-grade material for at least one atomic bomb. At the same time, the IAEA’s surveillance cameras were switched off, so that the UN-affiliated agency no longer has a continuous overview of the actual stocks. The IAEA’s questions about the suspicious traces relate to long-past activities, but very relevant ones: They point to tests with nuclear weapon detonators.